The Admiral’s Neighbourhood

Caught the end of this, I dunno what special on NBA TV. They had amazing footage of David Robinson.

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Goodbye Maya Angelou

Awww man. I didn’t grow up with grandparents so I let people like Maya Angelou adopt me. That sucks.

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Teasing Space Strangers

In our society where fear is the daily diet, where we shallowly use the Internet for Gotcha! games for celebrities with minor transgressions, I am deeply encouraged by the bright light of hope illuminated by teasers at the end of superhero movies.

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Facebook Wants To Hear You…

PSA: For any of my Facebook friends who enjoy the darker Darth Vader side of the internet…you know nude midget wrestling (Mexican or traditional…), would you rather lick it or smell it and other assorted seedy sites that require a history deletion please be aware that the Facebook app will pick up the sounds of those sites and broadcast it to us, your Facebook friends.

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NewMusic Ten Interview with…the Sunparlour Players

Andrew Penner and Michael “Rosie” Rosenthal of Sunparlour Players took some time out to answer questions about touring, their new album, The Living Proof, and more. Adelaide Hall will play host to Sunparlour Players on May 24th for their Toronto album release. This show will be the first time The Living Proof will be performed live in Toronto, you don’t want to miss it.

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Andrew Penner & Michael “Rosie” Rosenthal of Sunparlour Players.

How is your Canadian tour going so far?

Andew: It’s going great! We just finished the Western leg of the tour, it’s been amazing.

Where is your favourite place to play?

Andrew: I don’t know, what do you think Rosie?
Rosie: That’s a tough one; we have around 40 or something.
Andrew: We have a lot of special pockets. If we single one out we’ll get beat up.

What is the best part about being on tour?

Andrew: It’s always the people. The travelling is great, it doesn’t really get old but, the things you remember are the people. We’ve been lucky that we have a lot of connections in each town across Canada. I wouldn’t say it is like a homecoming but it’s a fun time to touch base with people all over the country that we have a history with now.

Do you have a favourite city you always like to play?

Rosie: hmm, that’s tough. I’m not singling anyone out but Andrew can take that one!

Andrew: Not really, for me, my favourite part is the opposite of what you’re asking. It is the variety that has become my favourite part. We don’t play rock clubs every night, we don’t play a certain kind of thing every night, we switch it up. It is definitely my favourite thing that it is a variety each time.

Speaking of variety…do you stick to a standard set list?

Rosie: We switch it up a bit. It depends on the venue we’re playing. We’ll switch up what we do depending on the crowd.

Can we expect surprises for your Toronto show on May 24?

Andrew: Lots of them! They’re called surprises though; people will have to come see. There’s going to be lots of fun stuff. We haven’t played any of these songs live in Toronto before, so I think that’s a check in the surprise column.

Any plans set for after the Canadian tour?

Andrew: Right now we are aiming for Europe.

Rosie: We’re going to be at festivals in the summer time and things like that.

What is your creative process like?

Andrew: The short answer is: when we get together in the room and come up with the sound. The sound is what happens when the two of us get together. The way it often starts, not every time, I’ll come up with the lyrics and melodies and general ideas and then Rosie and I will get together and we’ll form what is the song and what is the sound of the band. It’s different for every album and every song.
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How did you choose the title for your album The Living Proof?

Andrew: It’s one of those old fashioned “take part of the lyrics from a song” thing. I was like “Hey Rosie, what do you think about this?” we thought it was pretty strange at first which usually means we like it to some degree.

If we don’t say yes or no it usually means we’re on to something. I just picked it out of the lyrics one day, fom the song called “By Your Side” on the record. All the songs and the subject matter all involve living something in the present tense, not about doing something in the past tense.

Rosie: It came to that place where we suddenly thought, I think this might be right, and it gets quickly to the point where it can’t be called anything else. You can’t change it; it feels right and its over. It is sudden.

I lend you the NewMusic Ten time machine so you can travel back in time to see any musician/band perform, who would you see?

Rosie: Spike Jones and his crazy, whaky, orchestra, whatever they’re called, when they had their heyday, which I think was around 1930. I have a video and it’s an unbelievable thing. He shoots pistols and stuff musically, it’s insane. Spike Jones and his orchestra, that’s where I’d go.

Andrew: I’d have to go with the first time that Motown toured Europe. It was called the Motor Town Review and they toured a couple different cities in Europe and nothing like that had ever been there before. I’d want to go to Berlin or something and watch these Motown people for the first time and see what that felt like, in an audience/performer kind of relationship. Also, it would be watching Marvin Gaye and little Stevie Wonder.

Rosie: It is Spike Jones and the City Slikers, I just remembered. That’s a good name.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATrying to make a living out of music, late nights, and dancing.

Combining my love of music, night owl status, and embarrassing dance moves to write new and creative music news, reviews, interviews, and more!

Ops Tea

Had a short business meeting in Starbucks; they had ads all over the store for Oprah Chai Tea.

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NewMusic Ten Interview with…Sound of Change

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Recently I chatted with Lucas Canzona of Sound of Change to explore how his organization operates in a world inundated with causes and appeals for social change.

Their May 16th showcase at Adelaide Hall (in Toronto) in support of Raise the Village simultaneously benefits a worthy cause and offers a diverse array of local artists: The Elwins, Fast Romantics, Aukland, John River and Iris. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online.

What appeals to you about Raising the Village?

I came across Raising the Village in kind of a strange way, I was home from school and Shawn [Cheung] was featured talking about his organization on tv.

It appealed to me in that it doesn’t just apply a “band aid” solution to a problem, but instead it works with local leaders to address and solve problems at a local level and enables them to do it on their own, within their own communities.

Given that Raising the Village is a community based organization: does that sense of community translate at Sound of Change events?

Not necessarily, most people would come to these shows regardless of a cause or not. We are on the level of focusing on the music first and foremost. We pick bands and artists who are doing big and exciting things in the music scene right now, so we try and connect with them and showcase them when we can.

Our aim is mostly to connect with local artists and promote them as best we can.

Is dedicating showcases to non-profits like Raising the Village enabling activists to form a stronger community at a local level?

A lot of the time were pairing bands who would not normally play together; a lot of these shows feature a headliner who was a lot of name recognition and touring experience outside of North America and pair them with bands with local experience.

To find local bands we usually source our connections, so the experience is a little more personal. I think finding local bands and giving them a chance to connect with new people creates a greater sense of community for them.

Will the diverse lineup on May 16 appeal to a wider audience for Raising a Village?

Generally our shows have a specific focus, like indie rock or hard rock, Friday night is the first time we’ve ever tried the music festival model.

We wanted to diversify the lineup more than we normally do, the fact that we have a hip hop set and a dj set on the bill is the type of diversity that is really positive in the end. I’ve noticed that with some organizations they will see a disaster happen, organize a benefit show and then nothing will happen.

With Sound of Change we get to do something that has longevity and will continue to benefit the cause. There aren’t a lot of organizations who do benefit concerts and continue on with the organization, Sound of Change gets to flip the equation so that we put on a show and keep the relationship going with the organization.

Given that we are somewhat socially desensitized to charitable causes, and taught to view social media or arts based initiatives as a form of “slacktivism” how do you combat that sentiment and maintain integrity and dedication to social causes through music?

We really only work organizations we can trust and who have a good reputation for acting and distributing funds internationally.

We also like to diversify our causes so that more than one cause can benefit from the sustainable way in which we fund raise. Raising the Village is a similarly sustainable, Toronto organization and we know their history and the group well enough to know they are going to do good things with the profits.

We research each organization to make sure they know what they are doing with the funds we give them.

We specialize in music and we will allow organizations that we trust to take our money and do good things with those profits because that is there specialty.

How do you see Sound of Change evolving in the next couple of years?

My opinion and view of where its going to go is literally changing every week as we get going and go along. Being in the music industry is first and foremost our direction.

We constantly want to work with new people and artists as we go and build those connections. We want to promote new artists but we also want to be an organization that is well known and respected, we wanted to be trusted by the artists who will work with us.

Literally I feel like next week my opinion would be different, but overall I hope for a steady pattern of growth, were relatively new but I think there is a huge opportunity for us to grow in different ways.

Are you made more hopeful by your ability to align social causes and music?

We think what we do is fairly sustainable and has room to grow. There is certainly room for us to grow in the music industry in terms of who we are working with and what we can achieve with them. This is a foundation stage, but going forward we want to make it as sustainable as possible.

Admittedly, I am the type of person who is wary of the social validity of benefit shows, and how those profits are being used, but after speaking with Lucas I’m excited to come out on May 16 and show my support.

All profits from tickets sold tomorrow will go directly to Raise the Village, and you can be assured in knowing that this organization will effectively distribute that money at a local level.

Beyond that, May 16th represents a unique opportunity to bridge global communities through non profit and music.

On one hand, you will be able to explore a vast array of genre and sound and on the other, you are an active rather than “slacktive” part of promoting social change on the global scale.

this is what it sounds like…

We used to gaze up at the stars with awe and wonder….
We struggled to reach the moon and paid in full the high cost to befriend the cosmos.

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Moms, Mothers

It’s utterly fantastic that we have a day to pause and reflect on the extraordinary strong and beautiful women in our lives.

The first person we ever meet and the only person in our lives who ends conversations with “because I said so.”

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TO WebFest 2014: Music Panel RSVP

If I were Gwen Stefani I’d say this weekend is b a n a n a s but I ain’t no Hollaback Girl. Tomorrow at 5pm I join a T.O. WebFest panel “The Web Series Soundtrack” with other music makers.

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